What's Hilltop's Issue With Michonne?
Since Rick's presumed death, there have been huge question marks over how the three main communities became so divided and why Michonne is now uncharacteristically cautious. This mystery wasn't cleared up in "Evolution" but the plot did thicken considerably with Michonne's arrival at Hilltop, where it quickly became clear that the entire community, even former friends such as Tara and Enid, have a problem with her.
This attitude does perhaps confirm that, as suspected, Maggie departed Hilltop due to whatever happened with Michonne in the time skip but other than that, viewers are none the wiser. The exchange contains vague references to an as-yet-unseen event that caused the communities to drift apart and Michonne herself speaks of a decision she made that proved unpopular with Hilltop, but that ultimately saved their lives.
Interestingly, this week's "Henry got drunk" storyline revealed that Hilltop now has a system of law and punishments in place - an idea that originally came from Michonne herself earlier in season 9. This would suggest that the disagreement between Michonne and Maggie wasn't just a continuation of their differing viewpoints prior to the time skip.
Are The X Scars Exclusive To Alexandrians?
Part of the reason for Michonne's change in attitude surely involves the X-shaped scars seen on the backs of both the Alexandria leader and Daryl Dixon. The cause of these marks is still shrouded in mystery, although The Walking Dead midseason finale may give the situation a little more context. During the massively awkward conversation between Tara and Michonne, an allusion is made to a traumatic event that befell Alexandria and led to the separation of the communities.
Given that the scars have so far only been seen on Michonne and Daryl (who resided in Alexandria prior to his self-imposed exile), it's possible that Rick's former settlement took the brunt of whatever happened (and literally have the scars to prove it), while Hilltop and Kingdom were somehow spared the same fate. This might also help to explain why Alexandria are the only community not taking part in the forthcoming fair.
Another clash with the Saviors during the time jump is still the most likely explanation behind both the scars and the poor relations between communities, but viewers will have to wait until the second half of The Walking Dead season 9 for confirmation on the matter, perhaps in the form of some flashback sequences.
What Happens Now To Hilltop's Leadership?
As post-apocalyptic settlements go, the Hilltop are actually doing remarkably well. Not only do they have crops and horses, but there's a blacksmith available to make weapons and some medical types to patch up the wounded. However, losing Maggie to Georgie's community was undoubtedly a cruel blow and although Jesus was unanimously named her successor, it seems a new election will now have to be held.
Given her position as Jesus' right-hand woman, Tara is perhaps next in line for the leadership of Hilltop. But while she may be astute at settling noise complaints and farming issues, there are doubts over her ability to be a wartime leader; as a former follower of the Governor and a fully paid-up member of the "kill all the Saviors" brigade, Tara hasn't exactly found herself on the right side of history when it comes to The Walking Dead's major conflicts.
With the Whisperers lurking nearby, the Hilltop needs someone to take charge against this vicious new enemy and, since there isn't a character within that community that springs to mind as an ideal contender, it's possible that Jesus' death will force the three communities closer together in order to defeat this emerging enemy.
The Walking Dead season 9's midseason finale leaves fans with plenty of questions to mull over during the holiday break. Already, a trailer for the second half of season 9 promises the arrival of the Whisperers' leader Alpha, a bigger role for Negan and even more tension between protagonists. The remainder of the season has plenty of story to cover and viewers also have no idea how the forthcoming series of Rick movies will tie into the wider narrative. Perhaps AMC will shed some light on the matter during the off-season.
The Walking Dead season 9 returns in February 2019 on AMC.